A Day on a Whale Watch

After Reading Activities

The following Activities were created to be used after reading A Day on a Whale Watch. The curriculum was created for use with elementary students, and can be modified to meet the need of the students in your class.

Revisit Predictions

Now that you have read the story, this is a good time to go back and look at the predictions the students made before reading. Go through the list and discuss which statements were true. Each student started reading this story with different levels of prior knowledge. Talk about what the students knew before, and what they learned while reading. This opportunity will recap the main events of the story and pieces of information learned through lessons.

Journal Reflections

Ask the students to read their entire journal. Then supply them with time to write a reflection on what they have learned, what they still have questions about, and what they found most interesting. Encourage the students to support their statements with events that took place in the story, or through the lessons. These essays responses will be very different for each student.

Unanswered Questions

If a child or group still has an interest, or unanswered question, assign an independent study. This activity may be worth bonus points, extra credit, or as an assignment. The teacher may set up slots of time to check in on the different studies to measure progress.

Create an A to Z Whale Watch Book

Explain to the students that they are going to make an alphabet book with each word used has to do with a whale watch. The students will not think that this is research but, when they come to z, they may have to dig. This may be done in small groups, pairs or individually. The results could be published and shared with other classes.

Letter to Whale Group

Write a persuasive letter to a whale group. Assign the students to write a letter for or against whaling. For an authentic task, here are addresses for various organizations that the letters may be sent to.

New England Greenpeace
268 Congress St.
Boston, MA 02210

Animal Welfare Institute
P.O. Box 3650
Washington DC 20007

Student Reports on Areas of Interests

Assign individual, or small groups to report to the class on a topic explored in the unit. The topics may be self picked, or teacher assigned. Encourage the students to have a creative component to their presentation. This is a good opportunity to have peer evaluations. Create a simple evaluation form for classmates to give strengths and weaknesses of the presentation.

Poster to Promote the Story

Have the students create posters that promote the story. These may be judged for various elements and several may be selected as winners. The final products from this activity may be hung around the school to promote the story.

Student Plays

There are published and unpublished possibilities for this activity. The class may enact A Day on a Whale Watch, write a script of their own to recreate, or the teacher may select another source to dramatize. The options are endless. For older students, C. Jennings provides a script for "The Boy Who Talked to Whales." (Jennings, C. (1986). Theater for youth. University of Texas Press: Austin, TX.)

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